For Your Consideration Part I: Emmy Snubs Give Us a Chance to Reflect on What We Love
As you might have heard, the 2015 Emmy nominations were announced last week. The Academy did not nominate Jim Parsons, much to my surprise and concurrence, but the other shows we felt were going to be needlessly nominated made the cut (Downton Abbey, Modern Family, The Newsroom/Jeff Daniels).
Judging art and entertainment like an athletic competition is a fool’s errand. It’s like judging the Olympic skating competition with even more biased judges and fewer measureables. (Since voting is anonymous, we just don’t know who gets to be the dreaded East German judge in this scenario.)
Most Emmy voters are not going to devote a whole lot of time to understanding and applying the new rules, and even if they did, the rules are nonsensical anyway. So where does that leave us?
It leaves us with another chance to talk about the shows and performances that were not nominated. We will have plenty of time to gush about the very worthy people who did walk away with a nomination this year – and the Emmy’s got most of them right, by the way – but here are the ones we loved so much they are worthy of additional recognition.
Constance Wu, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper
Traditional sitcoms are much maligned, and with good reason: it’s tough to keep these shows fresh. But ABC has managed to do it with Blackish (which did score at the Emmys), The Goldbergs, and Fresh Off the Boat. The Goldbergs, which follows young wannabe-filmmaker Adam Goldberg and his family, makes us laugh and smile for 30 minutes every week. Few shows can claim to do that.
The Goldbergs is based on the real Adam F. Goldberg’s childhood, and he relishes sharing the best stories of his youth. The center of the show is Wendy McClendon-Covey, who plays mom Beverly. Good old Bev – with her ’80s hair perm, vintage track suits and mystery casseroles – showers her kids with over-protective affection but in the end is always looking out for their best interests. In creating this character, McClendon-Covey seamlessly walks the line between homage and caricature.
Fresh Off the Boat tells the fish-out-of-water story of a Chinese-American family who moves from Washington DC to Orlando so the dad can open a Western-themed restaurant. It’s set in the 1980s and told from the perspective of young Eddie, who identifies with gangsta rap and doesn’t like school. Mom Jessica Huang works in real estate and exhibits general awesomeness.
Jessica is played by Constance Wu, who is surely one of the break-out comedians of 2015, earning the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Next time Saturday Night Live asks fans to pick a new host, you should all just nominate Wu. She can do anything.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a brilliant show. Proving that Robert Carlock and Tina Fey can mine comedy out of anything, the series follows the exploits of Kimmy Schmidt, newly freed from being held captive for a decade by a crazypants religious fundamentalist. Schmidt is played with plucky, can-do, clueless-yet-wise attitude by Ellie Kemper.
Tina Fey (Marcia Clarke), Jon Hamm (crazypants captor), Jane Krakowski (Manhattan socialite) and Titus Burgess (hilarious) were all nominated, as was the show for Best Comedy. But how could they leave out Kemper? She is the only person I can imagine making Kimmy likable and winning rather than grating. For more on the show, check out our article.
There was so much comedy brilliance this past year, but these actresses deserve a little more recognition than they got. Our website’s mission is always to champion what we love, so consider this a mission-accomplished post.
What are your Emmy snubs in the comedy section? Let us know in the comments!